ECHL.com Note – In 2003-04 with Columbia, Tim Smith became the first Columbia player to be named to the All-ECHL First Team after leading the league in assists (62), points (95) and plus-minus rating (+40).
By Adam Wazny
The Winnipeg Sun
EDMONTON, Alberta — For most of the season, Tim Smith has been watching more than he’s been playing. Prior to Friday’s game against the Edmonton Road Runners, the Manitoba Moose centre sat out the last seven games as a healthy scratch — watching from the press box as players he skated with in the ECHL enjoyed some measure of success.
Don’t let his easygoing personality and toothless smile fool you.
It’s been tough.
“I’m a hockey player, that’s what I do,” Smith said after practice Saturday. “I made the team out of camp and you think you’re going to be in the lineup — that’s why you’re here. It’s frustrating, but I’m a happy-go-lucky guy and I try to look at everything positively.
“If I would’ve gotten down on myself, I probably wouldn’t have rebounded like the way I did when I got put back in.”
Smith, 23, did get back in last game, a 3-2 win at Edmonton, and even though the Alberta native scored the first AHL goal of his young career, he knows the real challenge now will be to stay in the lineup.
That’s what his friends Jesse Schultz, who scored 48 points (27g-21a) as a rookie with Columbia in 2003-04, and Alexandre Burrows, who scored six points (5g-1a) in three games with Columbia in 2004-05 and 73 points (29g-44a) in 64 games with the Inferno in 2003-04, have done. Schultz scored 48 points (27g-21a) as a rookie with Columbia in 2003-04 while Burrows scored six points (5g-1a) in three games with Columbia this season after scoring 73 points (29g-44a) in 64 games with the Inferno in 2003-04.